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"Preterm" vs. "Premature"-- Am I the only one who knows the difference?! - Page 3

post #41 of 120
I also thought they meant the same thing.

My baby was 35 wks and 5 days, and at 7lbs and 4 oz. everyone in the hospital staff said he looked FULL-TERM :LOL
post #42 of 120
I have never been around the NICU first hand, but I did follow up with one and two year olds that had been in the NICU. We always made distinctions about brain bleeds, being on the vent, and babies born under 1500 grams. We adjusted ages up to two years. It seems that the brain bleeds (versus weeks or weight)tend to be the most predictive of later cognitive development.
post #43 of 120
I hate that too~~
post #44 of 120
My kids were born at 35w 3d; 35w 1d, and 34w 3d. All were healthy (6.9 lb, 6.6 lb, 6.2lb), only went to the NICU to get checked- came home with me. We had jaundice issues and feeding issues. My dd took a month to nurse, ds 1 took 4 mos to nurse and ds 2 is 2 weeks old and not nursing exclusively, but latching ok about every other session and getting supplemental breastmilk after each feeding. I don't say they were preemie, I say they were early but healthy.

They would be preterm, but not premature? Or b/c of the feeding issues they would be considered premature also? (Not that I'm overly concerned by labels, but just curious)
post #45 of 120
If they are having those kinds of feeding issues they were premature. hope things get moving along smoothly soon and congratulations!
post #46 of 120
Congrats michelle! I didn't know you had your baby. I hope the feeding issues will be resolved quickly!!
post #47 of 120
I've been told, and have read that 37w0d is considered full term, and at 36w0d they would do nothing to stop labor if it started. My last 3 were born in the beginning of the 37th week. All were healthy, with good apgars, and no problems with nursing. They all wanted to nurse every 1 - 1.5 hours!

I would not want to be a part of the preemie club! I really feel for those mama's!! My cousin had her last baby at 34 weeks, he was 4 pounds and was in the nicu for just over 2 weeks. He had some intestinal problems for a few months. Not fun.
post #48 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by rachel
I've been told, and have read that 37w0d is considered full term, and at 36w0d they would do nothing to stop labor if it started.
Full term is 40 completed weeks from Day 1 of last menstrual period (if you have a perfect 28-day cycle) or 38 completed weeks from ovulation/conception. The range for full term is plus/minus TWO weeks, not three from the due date. Therefore, 37 weeks is not full term. And I certainly would have some choice words with any doctor who thought that a baby was ready to come out at 36 weeks.

But as we've been writing about, full term is different than mature, and pre-term is different than premature. The reason they let a woman "go" if she goes into labor between 36 and 38 weeks (and some even earlier, at 35 weeks) is strictly an insurace/monetary issue, namely, it would cost more to stop the labor and have the woman on meds/monitoring for a few weeks than it would to pay for the impact on the baby born then. In other words, it's cheaper to deliver the baby a little early. Also, I think OBs, who undoubtedly see the seriously sick or preemie babies, think, "Oh what the heck, 36 weeks is as good as done," (meaning, the baby will have no complications in the end), but I don't think they look at the impact of having an extra 2 weeks to a month (or more!) of the difficult newborn phase on the mother (and rest of the family), on the nursing relationship, and ultimately, on the mother/child bond those first few weeks. As many of us have experienced, and countless more of our friends'/relatives' stories we recall, just because a baby doesn't spend a month in the NICU doesn't mean that baby was ready to come out.
post #49 of 120
Here is the truth about those two words. Preterm is a medical term meaning 'born before term' A pregnancy is considered term at 37w0d- 41w6d. Preterm means 'born before term" That encompasses all babies born ANYWHERE at 36w6d and below. The exact state of their health varies greatly. I have always taken the premature to have a 'sicklier' medical connotation and is used more by lay people.
In terms of physical and organ maturity, that is up to each baby. I have seen 33 and 34 weekers who are in awesome shape, and I have seen 36 weekers need a ventilator. Some of these early pretermers are in such good shape because their mamas were in "preterm labor" and given some goodie meds to get their lungs working better in case they came out early.
I don't know what the dictionary meaning of premature is, but I am sure that it has no distinction in the amount of weeks in a pregnancy. People have just opted to use them interchangeably, but the only real medical term is PRETERM. There is only one way to describe the babies condition, and that is to DESCRIBE it.
post #50 of 120
PS I totally disagree with the person above me saying that it is a money issue that lets MD's deliver babies early... Who told you that? The medication Terbutaline is quite cheap compared to a NICU stay!!!
post #51 of 120
Periwinkle,
so I guess all the OB's and Midwives that practice at Stony Brook University Hospital (one of the best on Long Isand) who say and teach that a pregnancy is considered term at 37w0d are all wrong? I guess obnurse, who posted the same above is wrong too? Hmmm.

Not that I take what doctors or midwives say, as "law" anyway, if ya know what I mean! I always do my own research, which is why I have my babies at home. I really only wanted to point out, that 3 of my children were born in the beginning of the 37th week, and were perfectly healthy and ready to be born, I realize however, that some babies may not be ready at 37 weeks.
post #52 of 120
Rachel, geez, I have read 38weeks. I think several others in this thread also thought term meant 38 to 42 weeks. No need to attack.

Obnurse -- actually, what I meant was that the cost of stopping preterm labor at 36 weeks can be more expensive than the cost of delivering a 36-weeker. Meaning, most 36 weekers will leave the hospital with their mamas or maybe a day later, requiring no additional cost than a full term baby. Many have no NICU stay at all (of course some do, as you mentioned - but then again, so do some 40 weekers). A terbutaline pump isn't all that cheap, nor is 24/7 uterine contraction monitoring, or nurse home visits to a mother on bedrest, and neither is the lost income (if working) from having to stay in bed all day insignificant. Now, if that mom were admitted to antepartum for a few days or a week (or, 4 weeks! to get her to 40 weeks) with mag drip, etc etc etc. that would almost certainly be much more expensive (again, on average) than any cost associated with extra care for a 36 weeker. Why? Because 36 weekers usually do well, especially long term. But many of them are just not quite fully "cooked", kwim?, and that brings a lot of struggles that may not cost much, but are none the less significant to those of us wanting to exclusively breastfeed from the get-go, for example.

OF COURSE a mama on terb at 26 weeks is cheaper than delivering that 26 weeker. What I meant, is there is absolutely a financial incentive to deliver a slightly preterm baby (35-36 weeks, say), and moreover, that most OBs don't give one little thought to the impact of doing so on things like nursing or mother/child bond -- such as I've mentioned before. They're thinking, "will the baby breathe on its own?" and so on, not "Will the baby be awake enough to demand feed?" or "Will the baby nurse effectively enough to increase supply and grow well?" or "What is the impact on the mother and the family and the 18 month-old sibling of another entire month spent in the newborn phase?"

I certainly didn't mean to "slam" the obstetrical profession, and hope you didn't take offense to that. I just wanted to point out that rarely have I seen an OB concerned about some of these "softer" things, and if money were no object, it could be a good idea to delay that labor a couple of weeks in some situations.

post #53 of 120
Periwinkle, I'm sorry, please forgive me, I didn't mean to sound so attacking. I'll have to be sure to phrase my wording better! Again, I'm sorry. I do believe that some babies really aren't ready at 37 weeks, or 38 or 39 for that matter, even if it is considered term! I think babies grow at different rates. My babies for whatever reason, seem to be ready at 37 weeks, we never have feeding or breathing problems or anything, so that indicates to me they were ready! (makes me happy!! I'd rather have 'em early--if baby is ready of course!-- than 2 weeks late!!) Hope there's no bad vibes between us!
post #54 of 120
I am a medical transcriptionist and see these terms used all the time, and the medical community doesn't even adhere to the definitions you set forth. I am currently in the middle of transcribing a report in which the doctor refers to the baby as a "premature 36 weeker" but does not state any medical conditions that would indicate that the baby has not reached maturity or had any such complications. I was looking it up on the net to see if "36 weeker" was acceptable terminology and stumbled on this site. Just thought I would put my two cents in.
post #55 of 120
Ok, who has EVER said it's "cool" to have a premie? My guess? no one. No one on this thread said it, and no one I know in real life has ever said it. Even if they didn't know the difference between premie and preterm, I assure you, they did not think it was cool or to be part of a club.
post #56 of 120
You would be surprised, Mindy. On my preemie board, one of the ladies had another mom ask how early her baby would have to be to have to come home on oxygen. Because she thought that was simply adorable. *irked*
post #57 of 120
Ewww well if that's the case then, that's awful. What a horrible thing to hope

I haven't ever met anyone like that though. Thankfully!
post #58 of 120
I do know the difference. DD was born at 36 weeks a according to u/s. Her organs were perfectly developed. She had a brief problem breathing at birth. But that was due to a tight nuchal cord and aspirating. She also had to be deeply suctioned. She was never able able to nurse. (I EP for her.) She did not have the sucking/rooting reflexes. She was jaundiced, sleepy, difficult to syringe feed, so became more sleepy, etc. She was low birth weight. I have NEVER referred to her as preterm or premature. She didn't have any of the major problems that preemies have. I always say she came a few weeks early. She did not require a NICU stay, so therefore the terms don't apply to her. We were able to keep her in my hospital room. She came home from the hospital early on day 3, like all the other healthy babies. Thankfully, now she is an extremely healthy normal sized 28 month old.
post #59 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by liberal_chick View Post
You would be surprised, Mindy. On my preemie board, one of the ladies had another mom ask how early her baby would have to be to have to come home on oxygen. Because she thought that was simply adorable. *irked*
post #60 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by liberal_chick View Post
You would be surprised, Mindy. On my preemie board, one of the ladies had another mom ask how early her baby would have to be to have to come home on oxygen. Because she thought that was simply adorable. *irked*
Probably the same type of person who buys those reborn dolls that are sickly or on apnea monitors. /shudders/

That is so wrong.
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